I don’t know if this will pass the Indiana House or whether Gov. Mitch Daniels–he who wants a “truce” on social issues–will sign it, but PP is in some trouble in Indiana. From the story:
Indiana could become the first state to end Medicaid coverage for Planned Parenthood services, after the Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would cut off taxpayer money to the reproductive health-care provider. “The taxpayers will no longer fund an organization that provides abortion as part of their services that they give to the public,” said Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, a co-sponsor of the measure. The Senate voted 35-13 to approve House Bill 1210, which also shortens the window in which women can have abortions and mandates that doctors make certain statements to patients seeking the procedure…
Planned Parenthood of Indiana says cutting off its $3 million in government funding would put at risk the services it provides to 22,000 low-income Hoosiers, including birth control pills, cancer screenings and sexually transmitted disease tests. The group predicted the move would cost Indiana $68 million in Medicaid expenses for unintended pregnancies. “It makes absolutely no sense to reduce access to birth control when the objective is to reduce the incidence of abortion,” said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.
I find it interesting that whenever PP defunding comes up, defenders bemoan the loss of cancer screenings and contraception dispensing for poor women, and materially downplay the importance of abortion in the overall PP menu of services. Well, there is an easy way out of that conundrum–if they are truly the core of PP’s mission: Simply stop performing abortions and many people will stop objecting to its receiving taxpayer dollars.
But politics aside, we all know that PP believes fervently in abortion rights and that performing terminations is fundamental to its overarching mission of providing reproductive health services. Okay: Then spin off a Planned Parenthood Lite–a completely separate entity with no financial or governance connections to PP–which only provides non abortion related health services–thereby leaving PP to do its abortions while receiving no taxpayer support of any kind. After all, the Hyde Amendment prohibits Medicaid dollars from paying for abortion anyway, and the group claims there is a wall of separation between the services it provides with government funding and its abortion provision, so how would PP be harmed? In that way, the controversy goes away, women get all of PP’s current services, and everybody is happy. After all, it’s all about the women, right?